VWU joins Campus757

VWU will participate in Campus757, a newly established initiative with universities and businesses in the Hampton Roads region dedicated to encouraging students to work and live in the Hampton Roads region after graduation.

It was announced in the Nota Bene on Oct. 5 that President Miller played an influential role in the founding of Campus757, a talent development initiative, with the presidents of Tidewater Community College, Norfolk State University, Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University. According to an overview published by the Hampton Roads Workforce Counsel, this organization was created to “combat the labor shortage and develop, attract and retain the talent needed today and into the future.”  

It is also stated in the overview that it is based on the college graduate retention program in Philadelphia called Campus Philly. “That organization, incorporated in 2004 with a mission of keeping regional college graduates in the area postgraduation, has helped affect meaningful change: between 2000 and 2017, the population of degree-holders in Philadelphia ages 25 to 34 grew by 115 percent, according to a Campus Philly report in 2017.” This has led the Chamber of Commerce in Richmond to assist with a GO Virginia grant to implement a program in the Hampton Roads region similar to Campus Philly. 

The main goals of the organization are to develop a marketplace of internships and open jobs to facilitate the matching of employers and potential employees, sponsor events designed to help students and employers connect with each other and establish a website that contains comprehensive job and internship listings for the Hampton Roads area.

Miller also stated in his statement that Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Operational Management Jason Seward will serve as our institutional representative to the organization. “The goal is to provide an in-depth introduction to the region, showcasing its vibrancy and accessibility for college students, graduates and young professionals, wanting to make an impact,” Seward said.

Seward also mentioned that this organization will be a great resource to current students and graduates. “Our area has something for everyone,” Seward said. “Campus757 will streamline accessibility to our region for all Marlins looking to live, learn, work and stay in Coastal Virginia.”

Maegan Barnes, the Campus757 program manager, was drawn to the program because of the potential impact it could have in our community. “As a coach I am always interested in creating spaces where I can help our youth,” Barnes said. “The overarching goal for this program is to create an environment where all college students in the 757 can learn to love this region. I want every student to have their eyes opened to everything we have to offer in Hampton Roads and see them thrive here.”

Also, Barnes complimented Dr. Miller and VWU for giving their full support to the program. “They have already given us priceless feedback and guidance to make sure that VWU students are benefiting greatly from this program from day one,” Barnes said. 

Additionally, they are in the process of developing both virtual and hybrid events for this winter, while students can also anticipate socially-distanced and outdoor events as early as spring 2021. The Campus757 website will be available around Nov. 1 and those that would like to be involved in this organization can contact Barnes via email at mbarnes@vcwhamptonroads.org.

By Connor Merk